Varney contradicts private analysts, economists with claim that stimulus failed


Fox business analyst Stuart Varney claimed -- without evidence -- that President Obama's Recovery Act was "wasted money" and that it "did not produce jobs." However, Varney's statement stands in stark contrast to that of prominent private analysts and economists who estimate that the stimulus has in fact aided economic recovery.

Citing no evidence, Varney claimed stimulus "did not produce jobs"

From the June 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

VARNEY: Who can understand $13 trillion, which we will pass along to our children and grandchildren.

GRETCHEN CARLSON [co-host]: But it was the stimulus plans, I think, that got America awakened to the whole thing.

VARNEY: Yes, because it was so much wasted money. A trillion dollars did not produce jobs.

Independent and private analysts agree stimulus significantly raised employment over what would have happened otherwise

CEA: ARRA raised employment "by between 2.2 and 2.8 million." In its third quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated: "The CEA estimates that as of the first quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.2 and 2.8 million. These estimates are similar to those of other analysts, and are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2009:Q4."

CBO estimates job impact of between 1.2 and 2.8 million. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in May that as of the first quarter of 2010, the stimulus package "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million," and, "[i]ncreased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by 1.8 million to 4.1 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise." CBO also estimated that the unemployment rate would be 0.7 percent to 1.5 percent higher today without the stimulus package.

IHS/Global Insight estimates job impact of 1.7 million. stated on February 17 that "[u]sing updated estimates provided to PolitiFact, IHS/Global Insight estimates that 1.7 million jobs will be created or saved by the first quarter of 2010." The CEA report also cites this estimate from IHS/Global Insight.

Moody's estimates job impact of 1.9 million. The post further stated that "[u]sing updated estimates provided to PolitiFact ... Moody's estimated that 1.9 million jobs will be created or saved" by the first quarter of 2010. The CEA report also cited this estimate from Moody's

Macroeconomic Advisers estimates job impact of 1.5 million. The CEA report stated that Macroeconomic Advisers estimates that the Recovery Act raised employment by 1.46 million as of the first quarter of 2010, citing an analysis provided to CEA.

Economists say stimulus helped economic recovery

Wall Street Journal: 70 percent of economists surveyed said stimulus helped. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 12 that 38 of the 54 economists it surveyed "said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted growth and mitigated job losses, while six said the legislation had a net negative effect."

ABC News: Most on panel of economists "think the economy would be worse" without the stimulus. ABC News reported on February 18 that "most" of the economists on its panel "think the economy would be worse today without the big aid package, which totaled $787 billion and was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009."

NABE: 83 percent say stimulus raised GDP. A February survey of 203 members of the National Association for Business Economics [NABE] found that, "[e]ighty-three percent believe that GDP is currently higher than it would have been without the 2009 stimulus package (ARRA)."

USA Today: Surveyed economists said "stimulus package saved jobs." USA Today reported on January 25:

President Obama's stimulus package saved jobs -- but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY's quarterly survey of 50 economists.

Unemployment would have hit 10.8% -- higher than December's 10% rate -- without Obama's $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists' median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.

Stuart Varney
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